5 Hamilton Inspired Parenting Resolutions for 2018

One of the highlights of 2017 for my family was getting to see Hamilton: An American Musical. The lessons from our Founding Fathers are remarkably applicable to today, and Lin-Manuel Miranda’s lyrics are genius. In addition to being entertaining and thought-provoking, they are very relevant to parenting. Here are some of my New Year’s resolutions inspired by Hamilton.

“Talk less.”

I’m a talker. I’d love to share the wisdom I’ve learned and try to help my teen avoid making the same mistakes I’ve made. I know, I’m hilarious.

My chattiness can be the kiss of parenting death. This year, I’m going to focus on keeping my mouth shut, offering advice only when asked.

“Smile more” and remember “how lucky we are to be alive right now.”

I want to model for my teen what it looks like to be a happy adult. And while things may seem bleak, there is always something worth smiling about. The world feels tumultuous, but we really are so very lucky to be alive right now.

I’m also going to be sure to smile at my teen, to be sure she knows what I like about her. Teens aren’t easy, but they can be witty and insightful and interesting in ways that are unique to this age group. Those are all reasons to smile and to be grateful.

I resolve to focus on gratitude and share that with my teen.

“Work!”

I love the Schuyler sisters’ “Work!” We talk a lot in our house about the importance of, and value in, hard work.

This year, I resolve to make sure my teen knows that I am working hard, what that looks like, and why that’s satisfying. I feel like sometimes we make adulthood appear to be a slog. Instead of presenting the hard work that comes with maturity as bad, we should adjust our perspectives, which will adjust the perspectives of our kids, too. Adulting may not be easy, but it brings a multitude of opportunities.

While that may be because we want our kids to enjoy the freedom and lack of responsibility, we also need them to know that adulthood and the work that comes with it, are good, too.

The show reminds us that not everyone is fortunate enough to reach adulthood or old age. Being old enough to have responsibilities is something to celebrate.

“Just you wait”

I know that when Hamilton sings, “Just you wait” that he’s talking about the million things he hasn’t done. The same is true for my teen. I often say that I can’t wait to see where she ends up and what she does, but I’m hoping to get better at waiting in 2018.

Patience is not my strong suit. But Hamilton never learned to take his time, and that caused problems. Kids change, and quickly. Taking a few more deep breaths and not rushing to either judgment or action will benefit both me and my kiddo.

“We’ll fight up close, seize the moment and stay in it.”

There’s a lot of forward thinking that comes with teens, especially in terms of the college search. While that’s necessary, I’m going to really stay in the moment with my teen.

I know our time together is limited, and I’m not throwing away my shot.

Hopefully, I can stick with these resolutions I’ll be able to lay a strong enough foundation for my teen and it will be an amazing year for my family.

Shannan Younger

Shannan lives in the suburbs of Chicago with her husband and teen daughter. She's a recovery attorney who now blogs at BetweenUsParents.com, ChicagoNow, and as part of the Chicago Parent Blogger Network. Her writing has appeared on the Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop, Scary Mommy, BonBon Break, Brain Child and In the Powder Room, and her essays have been included in two anthologies by The HerStories Project. She is also freelance writer for regional magazines. Shannan was in the 2013 cast of Listen to Your Mother, despite the fact that her daughter often fails to do so.

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